3773 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016
323-292-5852 (Phone) | 323-292-5851 (Fax)

Dance Company

The Company is Going to Reno

Lula Washington Dance Theatre has started rehearsals for its week-long residency, October 29-November 2, at the University of Nevada, Reno. This will be the dance company’s first return visit to the University in ten years. The Company will perform a full evening concert on Thursday, November 2. It will include Lula’s new work, “Open Your Eyes”  which is set to the music of  Earth, Wind & Fire and presents an optimistic view of a more love-filled, tolerant society.

Tamica Washington-Miller will perform her youth-focused work, “Snowy Day,” based on the book by Ezra Jack Keats, and Lula will also present her new work, “The Message” set to Kamasi Washington’s song of the same name from his Epic CD. Lula created the work for a live performance between Kamasi’s band and the dance company earlier this year under the  title: The Washington Family Concert.

While in Reno, the company will teach master dance classes; conduct workshops in local libraries; and offer a workshop for music students to show them how movement and music can be woven together to create a unique performance.

LWDT’s Tamica Washington-Miller Invited to National Advisory Board at Princeton

Tamica Washington-Miller, dancer, choreographer, teacher, leader.

Tamica Washington-Miller, Associate Director of Lula Washington Dance Theatre, has been appointed to the National Advisory Board of the very prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She was invited to the panel, which meets at Princeton University, to help the foundation figure out how to improve the culture of health systems. The goal is to make health delivery systems more mindful and respectful of the ways in which cultture and the arts impact the emotional and internal health of people and communities.

Tamica got the invitation to join the Advisory Committee after working as a liaison to the Foundation when it asked to do a short documentary on the Lula Washington Dance Theatre School. Tamica is the daughter of LWDT’s founders, Lula and Erwin Washington.

The resulting video, “Ava’s Path” shows how the dance classes at Lula Washington Dance Theatre helped to bring joy and healing to a young girl whose family was going through very hard times which forced them into homelessness. The video has become a favorite at the Foundation, which produced 12 videos on the subject. Here is a lin k to the video.

AVA’S PATH – A video by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Lula Washington Dance Theatre  In Concert with Ponybox Dance @  Nate Holden Performing Arts Center

One evening. Two dance companies.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) will perform in a shared dance concert with Ponybox Dance Theatre on Saturday, April 2, 2016 @ 8 pm in the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90016.

Tickets are on sale online at www.lulawashington.org/spring-concert
You can also buy tickets in person at the LWDT dance studio, 3773 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016.

$30 General Admission
$25 Seniors and students

Lula Washington Dance Theatre will perform two of its three works to live jazz by the Marcus Miller Ensemble.

“Together”, choreographed by Tamica Washington-Miller, explores the power of love to keep a couple united against a tidal wave of issues that threaten to tear them apart.

“Search For Humanism”, by Lula Washington, explores the unfair killings of African-Americans in contemporary society.

“Global Village” is Lula Washington’s popular celebration of the power of dance to bring unity among people of disparate backgrounds and cultures. It is set to FELA Kuti music.

The all-male Ponybox Dance Theatre will perform “The Line,” which deals with issues of Conformity; and “The Collective”, which explores questions around the subject of Identity.

Tickets that are paid online can be mailed out if a mailing address is included. They may also be picked up at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre studio, 3773 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016; or, at Will-call on the day of the performance.

Works from Pony Box Dance Theatre will express Conformity and Identity, “The Line” and “The Collective.”

Lula Washington Dance Theatre Turning 35

In 1980, when Lula Washington decided to start her own dance company in Los Angeles — many dance experts doubted she could succeed. After all, many big name choreographers had tried to do the same thing, but failed.

In January of 2015, the Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) turns 35 years old. What started as an apparent “Impossible Dream”, now entails a year-round school of dance with 150 inner city students; a youth dance ensemble; a dance studio which the LWDT non-profit organization owns; and a professional dance company that has travelled all over the world and which will do more travelling in its 35th year.

In 2015, the Lula Washington Dance Theatre tour company will perform at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in a concert co-sponsored with Rutgers University. The company will teach master classes and lead a community engagement discussion on using dance to address social issues.

LWDT will also dance in Washington, DC at Dance Place and at the Kennedy Center. It will perform in Pennsylvania at Cheyney University; in Redbank New Jersey at the Count Basie Theatre; in Virginia at the Alleghany Highlands Performing Arts Center; in Indiana at Butler University; in Nevada at the new Smith Center of Las Vegas; in Minnesota at the Ordway Theater; and in Billings, Montana at the Alberta Bair Theater. The Company is booked in 2016 at the Kravis Center in Palm Beach Florida — and many new dates are still under discussion across the US.

Lula will tour excerpts from her 35 years of dance, including her trademark “We Wore The Mask” and new works “Random Thoughts” and “Search For Humanism” — all in Lula’s risk-taking style of using dance to explore social ideas.

Scene from Lula Washington's Random Thoughts

The company will also tour works by Tamica Washington-Miller; Christopher Huggins; Donald McKayle; and Rennie Harris.

At home, the dance company will premier an augmented site specific version of “Message To My Peeps” by Associate Director Tamica Washington-Miller as part of a commission by Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance At the Music Center.

The dance school will present its recital at the Japan America Theatre once again, but LWDT is planning a collaborative youth-focused concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in partnership with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. The date is TBA.

Lula remains the main choreographer and teacher for LWDT, both at home and on the road. Wherever the company performs, Lula teaches master classes for students of all levels. Below, Lula leads autistic children in a movement class at the Blackrock Center in Germantown, Maryland.

In between the performing, the organization is preparing a 35th anniversary celebration (TBA) and home season concert at home at a site TBA. It will continue its year-round dance classes; its Summer Intensive; its Kwanzaa Festival; its Dance All Day Festival during Taste of Soul — and more.

At 35, Lula Washington and the organization she built is hardly slowing down. It’s going forward as robustly as ever.

Lula Washington Taking Kwanzaa on the Road

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre is scheduled to take excerpts from its Kwanzaa Celebration on the road in 2015 as part of its 35th anniversary season. The company will perform the work in Minneapolis at the Ordway Theatre in Fall, 2015.

The company will work with local children in Minneapolis who will join the LWDT dancers on stage. Special choreography will be created for children in Minneapolis. Lula Washington and assistants will make several trips to the Ordway over the year in 2015 to prep local kids to participate.

Normally, LWDT only does its Kwanzaa concert at home in Los Angeles. This year LWDT will once again celebrate the holiday with three nights of performances in its studio theater on the weekend after Christmas.

In past years Lula Washington Dance Theatre has taken its hard hitting social commentary work on tour to Minneapolis. The dance company has danced in the Twin Cities on four different occasions over the years.

In the picture above, LWDT dancer Hanniyyah Muhammad is captured in scene from Lula Washington’s Harambee Suite, part of the Kwanzaa Celebration.0

LWDT’s tours in 2015 will include stops in Indiana, Washington, DC, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Ohio, and Baltimore.

LWDT Has Busy Summer Schedule Ahead

The Showcase@Lula’s studio concerts were so well received by an enthusiatic audience that
Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) will present another showcase of new works in late July / early August. Stay tuned for exact dates. In the meantime, LWDT will be busy with local performances and activities.
Wednesday,  May 7 @ 7:30 pm
Cal Arts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Program
Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) hosts an informal showing of new choreography by Andre Tyson, a former leading dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Mr. Tyson teaches dance at CAL ARTS and at LWDT through the Cal Arts Community Arts Partnership. His LWDT and Cal Arts students will join forces for the showcase of his new work.
Location: LWDT studio A, 3773 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90016.
Ticket price: Free
Saturday, May 24, 2014:  12pm, Performance
St. Elmo Village 45th Anniversary Celebration
4830 St. Elmo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90019 / (323) 931-3409
LWDT youth dancers will dance on the Village Stage.
Price: Free
Sunday, May 25, 2014:  2pm-5pm
Intimate Café and Conversations with Extraordinary Artists
African American Firefighters Museum
1401 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021
LWDT Youth Performance Ensemble & Apprentices will perform during this event. LWDT Founder and Artistic Director Lula Washington, and LWDT Associate Director, Tamica Washington-Miller will participate in a panel discussion with other artists exploring issues of art and health.
Price: Free
Saturday, June 14, 2014, 1 pm
LWDT Youth Dance Recital
Features all students in the LWDT School, from tiny tots to young adults.
Japan American Theater, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
General: $25 / Seniors & Students: $20 / Children 12 & under: $15
Tickets on sale at the LWDT studio and online at www.lulawashington.org
VIP – Umoja Circle – Fundraising Reception – $100 (Starts at noon)
(Includes refreshments; prime VIP seating; and access to the VIP lounge.
All donations support the LWDT dance training program)
Friday, June 20, 2014:  7:30 pm
L.A. So-Cal Dance Invitational
John Anson Ford Amphitheater
2580 Cahuenga Blvd East,  Los Angeles, CA 90068
Box Office: (323) 461-3673
Use code: “LWDT” and get a discount on your tickets
LWDT will perform choreography by Associate Director Tamica Washington-Miller. Works: “Beautiful Venus & Serena” & excerpts from “Message To My Peeps”. This is part of a larger program including several other prominent local dance companies.
Monday, June 23 – Aug. 3
LWDT Summer Dance Program
This is a six-week summer dance program at the LWDT School. Classes meet Mon-Fri. for children through aspiring professionals. The program culminates with a concert featuring all students.
Saturday, July 26, 2014:  12 pm
National Dance Day Celebration – The Music Center
Performance and public movement class
The Music Center Plaza
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

LWDT Hosts Studio Concert to Showcase New Works April 26 & 27

Lula Washington Dance Theatre (LWDT) will host a Studio Concert this month to showcase new works in progress and to cultivate audiences with a love for contemporary dance. LWDT will present choreography by Lula Washington, Stefan Wenta, Tamica Washington-Miller, Rennie Harris, Christopher Huggins, Bernard Brown, Chester Whitmore, and others.

The performances are set for Saturday, April 26 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, April 27 at 3 pm at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre Studio, 3773 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016. Choreographer Lula Washington will preview an untitled work-in-progress performed to music by Marcus L. Miller and his Freedom Jazz Movement quartet. Alto sax player Bobby Bryant will be featured in the performance. Lula and Marcus have collaborated many times on works that combine jazz and dance with exhilarating theatricality, and powerful thematic ideas.

Guest choreographer and master ballet teacher, Stefan Wenta, will re-stage his 1998 duet, “Mater Dolorosa” set to the classical music of Polish composer Henryk Górecki. This work follows the relationship of a mother and son as they grow and mature. The mother ages into the child and the child matures into the overseeing parent. LWDT dancer Bernard Brown is choreographing a new work to the sounds of Jon Deshler on trumpet and Doug McBeath on upright base. They will play tunes from composers Hampton Halls, Wayne Shorter and Billy Strayhorn.

The dance and music will be accompanied by projections of classic Jazz photography by Deshler to create a multimedia experience incorporating photographic art with the music and dance. LWDT Associate Director Tamica Washington-Miller will also showcase a new work in progress and she will present excerpts from her popular work, “Beautiful Venus and Serena”. The cast will include members of LWDT’s newly formed Apprentice Ensemble. “The idea is to give up and coming young dancers the chance to do roles that would normally be done by members of the LWDT professional company,” explained Tamica, who works closely with the apprentices. “We are giving them valuable performance experience that will hopefully get them ready to dance with the Company some day.”

The apprentice dancers will also showcase excerpts from Rennie Harris’s Reign. LWDT plans to host Studio Concerts periodically through the year featuring work by the Company and its dancers, and also by other artists.

Seating is limited.

Tickets: $20 for General Audiences and $15 for students, seniors and children.

Tickets can be purchased at the LWDT studio.  For more information contact LWDT at (323) 292-5852 or via email school.lwdt@gmail.com.

Lula Washington Dance Theatre Kicks Off 2014 With Performances in Santa Barbara, North Carolina, San Jose

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre begins 2014 with performances in Santa Barbara, North Carolina and San Jose.

The company presents its Reflections In Black educational concert at the Arlington Theater at Santa Barbara City College Jan. 22. The Company will perform for more than 2,000 school children via the Children’s Creative Project.

This will be followed by master classes and a performance at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina Feb 7.

LWDT comes home and mounts a Black History Month concert in the LWDT Studio on Saturday, Feb. 22 with some of its Youth Dancers recreating Lula Washington’s “Little Rock Nine”.

For the first time, LWDT will dance at the Mexican American Heritage Plaza in San Jose Feb 28 in a concert sponsored by the San Jose Multicultural Artists Guild. Members of the guild saw LWDT’s concert at the Gallo Center in Spring 2013 and decided to bring the company to San Jose for a reprisal of the same performance.

Each performance will contain works tied to African-American history, one of which is Donald McKayle’s “I’ve Known Rivers” which is depicted in the photo above.

Photo: Haniyyah Muhammad in “I’ve Known Rivers”
–Choreography: Donald McKayle
–Photo by: Jack Hatin

Lula Washington Dance Theatre in concert with Complexions

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre will perform at the John Anson Ford Amphiteater in a shared concert with the Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Saturday, Aug. 10 at 8 pm.

Complexions was created by two former Alvin Ailey dancers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.

Dwight Rhoden, founder of Complexions.

Desmond Richardson, co-founder of Complexions.

Tickets are on sale now at the Ford, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd, East, Hollywood, CA 90068. The Box Office number is: 323-461-3673. You may also Email boxoffice@arts.lacounty.gov

The concert is part of the Ford’s new Signature Series, founded by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky.

Proceeds from the concert will help fund a renovation of the Ford Theater and its stages.

Choreographer George Faison Teaches at LWDT

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre frequently hosts master dance classes with legendary figures in dance.

A good example of that is the visit in August 2012 by famed choreographer George Faison. George choreographed “The Wiz” on Broadway and the musical “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.” He created the highly popular work “Suite Otis” which is performed by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

George was in town and he said “yes” when LWDT instructor Mesiyah McGinns asked Faison to come by the LWDT studio and say “hello” to students, he agreed.

His “hello” turned into an hour long question and answer session with students followed by an impromptu dance class that got all the students moving.

The experience was uplifting for everybody, from the professional dance company members, to the youngest student. George was generous and gracious, and showed his exceptional brilliance in dance.